RDP U-turns in poll caseBy: WERNER MENGES
THE Rally for Democracy and Progress has beaten a retreat from its threat to sue five judges of the Supreme Court to compel them to deliver the courtís judgement on opposition partiesí appeal over the 2009 National Assembly election.
The RDP last week filed an application with Chief Justice Peter Shivute to get consent to sue the five judges who are supposed to give a judgement on nine opposition partiesí legal challenge over the conduct and outcome of the National Assembly election of November 27 and 28 2009.
The application was withdrawn on Friday, the RDPís legal representative, Tobie Louw, confirmed yesterday.
Louw said that step was taken after the Registrar of the Supreme Court had given an indication that the courtís judgement is already in an advanced stage of preparation. In such circumstances, it was decided that it would not make any sense to continue to take legal action to compel the judges to hand down the courtís judgement, Louw said.
The application filed Ė and again withdrawn Ė last week would have been the first step on the way to trying to get a court order directing the Supreme Court to deliver its judgement.
The Supreme Court Act requires that the Chief Justice must give his consent for the institution of civil legal action against any judge of the Supreme Court. If the legal action is directed at the Chief Justice himself, the next available senior judge of the Supreme Court must give consent before such legal action may be launched, the Act says.
Chief Justice Shivute, Judges of Appeal Gerhard Maritz and Sylvester Mainga, and Acting Judges of Appeal Simpson Mtambanengwe and Fred Chomba reserved their judgement on October 5 last year, after having heard three days of arguments on the opposition partiesí appeal against the High Court judgement in which their election challenge was dismissed on February 14 last year.